No. 25October 3, 2019
Elections Canada has issued the list of candidates whose nominations have been confirmed to run in the 43rd general federal election which takes place on October 21 with advanced balloting starting October 11. In this federal election, 2,145 citizens are presenting themselves as candidates in the country’s 338 ridings, compared to 1,792 in 2015, an increase of 353 candidates. Elections Canada has yet to provide a breakdown by gender, but a preliminary estimate puts the number of women at just over 30 per cent of the candidates.
The Conservatives, Greens, Liberals and New Democrats are running candidates in all 338 ridings. The People’s Party of Canada has candidates in 315. The Bloc Quebecois has candidates in all 78 ridings in Quebec.
Fifteen other registered parties are fielding 276 candidates. In 2015, there were 18 small parties fielding 284 candidates.
One hundred and twenty-five (125) candidates are registered as independent or non-affiliated, 44 more than the 80 in 2015. At least 26 of them are in fact affiliated with the None of the Above Party, but the ballot will not identify them as such because the party is not registered with Elections Canada.
The candidates of the fifteen small parties and independent candidates together represent 19 per cent of the total.
By law, the Canada Elections Act regulates how a person can become a candidate. An individual must be a Canadian citizen at least 18 years of age to qualify. They must gain the consent of 100 qualified electors in their riding. All candidates must appoint an official agent responsible for their finances and candidates must also appoint an auditor if they spend or receive contributions of $10,000 or more. Candidates running for a party must obtain its endorsement. Parties are entitled to set their own rules for the nomination of candidates, while the Canada Elections Act regulates the contributions and expenses incurred by riding nomination contestants. This is the first election where candidates do not have to submit a $1,000 refundable deposit with their nomination.
All of the registered political parties, along with their websites, are listed on Elections Canada’s website here.
To find the list of candidates in your riding, Elections Canada provides a search engine by postal code or riding name here.
Registered Parties and Candidates in the 2019 Election
– An Alberta Railway Worker –
In my opinion, from a worker’s perspective, Andrew Scheer is nothing other than an extension of Jason Kenney and Doug Ford. Those who financially support Kenney and Ford also back Scheer.
Once he was elected in Alberta, Kenney immediately set out to attack workers and their valid legal contracts. He introduced legislation to modify those signed collective agreements, which workers had voted on and agreed to in good faith that they would be honoured.
Doug Ford is taking the same type of action in Ontario. Neither of them was elected on the basis that they would attack workers. They were elected by saying the same thing that Scheer and the Conservatives are saying at the federal level, which promises the moon and the sun but in fact is deception to attack workers once in power.
They consider workers easy pickings. Their attacks on public sector workers feed off the misconception they are spreading that public sector workers are fat and lazy. These are workers who provide important services to Canadians and are entitled to negotiate their working conditions. At the moment, Kenney is taking on thousands of provincial employees.
Workers in Canada should be very cautious and suspicious of Scheer. Just like all Canadians, we are entitled to our rights. Governments have to let the process roll out; they have to let us negotiate.
As for the Liberals, they did not pass back-to-work legislation against the railway workers in 2018. There was a very short strike; the country did not suffer long because of it. We signed a negotiated agreement, which is how things are supposed to work. However, in the case of the postal workers, the Liberals forced them back to work.
I am not suggesting that workers should vote Liberal. What I am saying is that workers must pay attention. Workers deserve to negotiate their conditions. We are entitled to that. We want our rights recognized under the Charter to be respected.
I think that working Canadians should be concerned about the anti-worker, anti-immigrant and anti-gay influence coming out of the U.S. We are now seeing political parties essentially repeat the comments we find in American politics, along with homophobic slurs and attacks on the rights of gays. Although this also exists in other parties, it is very widespread in the Conservative Party.
Immigration in Canada is necessary. We need good people coming to Canada. Every one of us is the product of immigration if you go back far enough. However, we are seeing racism rear its ugly head.
When immigrants become citizens, their vote is just like yours and mine. If the Conservatives are elected federally, as they have been in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick, very broad attacks will be launched against Canadians.
I see a definite U.S. influence in the campaign rhetoric, a lowering of the common denominator to that of the southern U.S. states.
I see Quebec bashing being promoted. I see politics of division being pushed throughout Canada. In Alberta, the Conservatives are promoting the hatred of eastern Canada. They are misrepresenting the truth, blaming the people of Quebec for the lack of pipelines. They are now bringing up the issue of equalization payments as retaliation against Quebec, irrespective of the fact that those payments have nothing to do with the pipelines.
They are pushing politics of division and disrespect from east to west. Kenney is promoting the same policy of division between Alberta and BC. He is saying that the people of BC are bad, that they do not like Alberta. Yes, the people of BC have concerns and are expressing them. They want protection, they do not want accidents, they do not want oil spills or to have the coastal marine population killed off by tankers. These are valid concerns.
I think that the federal election this year may turn out to be the worst election in terms of lowering the level of politics. Look at what is happening in the U.S., where all the disputes are based on anger and division instead of facts.
We must ensure that politics is based on facts and discussion around the facts.
(Photos: RU, AUPE)
– Christine Nugent –
Rally at Fiera plant October 2, 2019, demanding action after death of fifth Fiera Foods worker.
The death of yet another worker at Fiera Foods — the fifth since 1999 — has shaken the Jane and Finch community, which is part of the Humber River—Black Creek federal electoral riding where the company operates, and all of us who are fighting for worker health and safety in this city and across Canada.
As the Marxist-Leninist candidate in this riding, I offer my sympathy to the workers, who have lost yet another fellow worker, to the family, and to the families of the four other workers who have died.
The name of the worker killed on September 25, reportedly when the machine he was cleaning was accidentally turned on, has not been publicly released. He worked for one of some 30 temporary agencies which supplied workers to the bakery. More than 100 temporary agencies operate in the Jane-Finch area alone.
Fiera Foods is one of the largest industrial bakeries in North America, providing baked goods distributed to many countries worldwide. Temporary workers make up around 70 per cent of its workforce, according to figures from WSIB.
A $15 and Fairness Campaign 2018 backgrounder issued in the wake of the fourth death at Fiera Foods reported, “Fiera has been slapped with 191 orders for health and safety violations over the past two decades, for everything from lack of proper guarding on machines to unsafely stored gas cylinders. It has been repeatedly fined and convicted under the Health and Safety Act. Yet still, here we are in 2018 bearing witness to another death of a temp agency worker.”
We need to end workplace deaths. Workers have a right to safe and healthy workplaces. Companies must be required to provide the working conditions and training required to provide a safe and healthy workplace for all workers in their plants. The workers must have a say in the conditions of their work through mandatary health and safety committees at all workplaces.
Temporary agency workers are particularly vulnerable as companies are not required to pay them the same wage as permanent employees and there is no law that temporary workers need ever become permanent. These economic incentives for employers to hire temporary workers for the most precarious and dangerous work must be ended. At the same time, employers must not be allowed to violate with impunity those employment and health and safety laws that do exist and laws must be put in place and enforced to protect all workers.
Companies must not be allowed to hide behind temporary agencies, which operate with little or no oversight, to escape responsibility for the well-being of those in their workplaces. Companies and their accomplices the temporary agencies whose operations result in a worker’s death, must be required to cease operations, at no expense to the workers, until healthy and safe conditions exist. And the Criminal Code must be applied when warranted.
In Ontario and across Canada, handouts to employers from the compensation system must stop and be reversed. Funds must be put into solving these health and safety issues and ending the thousands of workplace-related deaths of workers each year.
Christine Nugent is the MLPC candidate for Humber River—Black Creek.
(Photos: RU, ONIWG)
– Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups –
Rally at Fiera Foods, October 2, 2019
The Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups (ONIWG) is appalled that the Ford government and WSIB are giving yet another massive gift to employers in the form of a 17 per cent premium rate reduction, especially with the announcement coming on the same day that a fifth worker was killed at Fiera Foods. Combined with last year’s 30 per cent rate reduction, this means billions of dollars less coming into the system at a time when the WSIB’s own stats show an increase in injury rates, and companies like Fiera Foods, with a pattern of killing workers, are not held accountable.
“Work injuries are on the rise, precarious and unsafe jobs are increasing, injured worker poverty is rampant, and yet employers get a $600 million handout?” said ONIWG President Janet Paterson. “Is Fiera Foods going to get that 17 per cent reduction too, despite its history? It’s just not right. Enough catering to the big business lobby.”
At its Annual General Meeting yesterday, WSIB officials also spoke proudly of the fact that the system is now 110 per cent funded. The reality, though, is that the WSIB’s financial success has come on the backs of injured workers, with almost half of workers with permanent disabilities living at or near poverty levels.
“They’re proud that they’re 110 per cent funded? Well let’s look at how well ‘funded’ injured workers are,” said Paterson. “We have members who have been denied compensation for years, who are 0 per cent ‘funded.’ They’ve been forced onto social assistance. We have people who have been deemed to be working in jobs that they don’t actually have, living on less than $100 a week from the WSIB, making them 5 per cent ‘funded.’ Imagine if the WSIB used some of its 110 per cent to properly compensate people.”
ONIWG seeks to remind the WSIB and the government that employers don’t pay into workers’ compensation out of benevolence; they do it because workers gave up their right to sue employers for work injuries, in exchange for fair compensation. But now employers are getting increasingly cheap insurance, and bad bosses like those at Fiera Foods get protection from accountability, while injured workers are left out in the cold.
“Stories like these show that Ontario is increasingly open for exploitation,” said Paterson. “But we don’t accept that. We won’t rest until we see fairness restored to the workers’ compensation system, and justice for injured workers.”
For further information contact: Janet Paterson 807-472-6910
Picket line at CarePartners in Sudbury
Health care workers employed by CarePartners in Sudbury have been locked out since May 31. Represented by USW Local 2020-Unit 79, the workers were negotiating a collective agreement when CarePartners broke off negotiations and locked them out.
The attack on the Sudbury workers appears connected with current negotiations underway between CarePartners and its 2,600 home care workers employed throughout Ontario who are represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
The locked-out Sudbury workers, mostly women, coordinate and schedule home care visits to patients in northeastern Ontario. Their top wage is $16.15 per hour, only slightly more than Ontario’s $14 per hour minimum wage. Their union is demanding wages comparable to others in the same field in the Sudbury area and contract language for joint resolution of harassment complaints filed by the workers against their employer, rather than leaving CarePartners to investigate itself.
The company countered with no wage increase, a cut in the number of paid sick days and changes to the scheduling of weekend work that would negatively affect the workers and their families. It also threatened to eliminate a grand-fathered clause for former Canadian Red Cross employees, which would cut their pensions and health benefits. The workers rejected the offer by over 95 per cent. CarePartners retaliated by locking the workers out.
CarePartners contracts through the provincial Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to provide home care under the public Ontario Health Insurance Plan. Such P3 public-private partnerships are a cash cow for private for-profit heath service corporations like CarePartners. The SEIU and USW note that LHIN pays about $50 per each hour of basic home care. The private entities like CarePartners’ pay home care workers and administration staff between $15 and $19 per hour. The private profiteers then keep $30-$35 per hour for themselves. Private delivery of public health care is a pay-the-rich scheme.
Last month the Ontario Federation of Labour, United Steelworkers (USW) District 6, USW Locals 1005, 1500, and 8702, OPSEU, OSSTF, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association, SEIU Local 1 and others organized a rally at CarePartners corporate head office in Kitchener as well as in Sudbury.
One hundred workers rallied on September 5, 2019 at CarePartners’ head office in Kitchener.
To support the health care workers, sign the petition calling on Ontario Minister of Health Christine Elliott to force CarePartners back to the bargaining table. It can be signed here.
Support the Just Struggle of the Workers at CarePartners Sudbury and Throughout the Province!
Negotiations Yes! Dictate No! Stop Paying the Rich; Increase Funding for Social Programs!
Guarantee the Rights of All to Healthcare and Seniors’ Care!
(Photos: RU, USW 2020)
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